Younan Building Empire: Buy Low, Stack High?

Younan Tower, the former Northbelt Corporate Center, Houston

He boasted back in July that he would build the world’s tallest building — a 200- to 300-story tower in either Houston or Chicago. Meanwhile, Zaya Younan has been continuing his Houston-area office-building buying spree. Back in May, Younan told the Houston Business Journal‘s Jennifer Dawson that he’d own 5 million square feet of office space in this city by the end of this year.

So how much has he been able to buy?

Just 2.2 million square feet, according to a company press release dated December 18th — which ain’t bad. Even better: by confusing his Houston and statewide numbers, he’s been able to convince Globe St. that he’s bought much more — and actually exceeded his goals for the year. Plus, Younan tells that publication’s Amy Wolff Sorter, he plans to buy an additional 5 million square feet in Houston next year, which will help his company achieve the goal of being the largest office landlord in both the city and the state:

“Since the subprime and credit crunch happened in August, building contracts fell through,” he says. “We were suddenly inundated with calls from owners and brokers, so we bought a significant amount of assets.”

After the jump, some of the properties Younan’s snapped up lately, plus Younan Tower, revealed!


Here’s the list:

Not satisfied with all that buying and all that bragging about how big and how tall his tower assets will be, Younan’s also been busy sticking his name on things:

6464 Savoy has been renamed Younan Plaza. The Westchase Bank building has been renamed Younan Place. And the Northbelt Corporate Center has been renamed Younan Tower.

If a 10-story building on Beltway 8 near the airport now counts as Younan Tower, does that mean the really, really tall building plans have been scrapped?

Photo of Younan Tower, the former Northbelt Corporate Center: Younan Properties